I just don't flipping get it.
Do you ever feel like your oldest kid is a glorified guinea pig? Like the poor child is subjected to all your mistakes and missteps and poor parenting judgments, all your moments of "duh, what do I do now?" and all the things you do before you realize hey, that was a terrible idea? I hate that feeling. I figured it would get easier with time ... that, since Curtis and I have been parenting Colin for nearly seven years now, we'd feel more confident. More secure in the decisions we make on his behalf.
But, uh ... we don't. Or at least, I don't.
Y'all remember this post? In a nutshell, I was griping about the seemingly-endless stream of negative notes Colin was bringing home from school in his daily planner. Seriously, almost every day there was something different from someone different: the art teacher. The gym teacher. The music teacher. The classroom teacher. The recess monitors. The lunchroom monitors. Colin wasn't following procedures. Colin was bothering other students. Colin was using inappropriate language (seriously, they called us in for an emergency middle-of-the-day parent-teacher meeting because he said "chicken poop." WTF!). I dreaded opening his planner, like, "Who's hating on my kid today?" I felt like a horrible parent because they obviously felt that my son was the "bad seed." I felt deeply sad because I know he isn't a bad seed, and they just didn't know the Colin that we know. I felt confused, because we'd tried everything from punishments to positive reinforcements.
And still nothing changed. Note after note.
And then Curtis went to the school and talked with several of Colin's teachers, and the principal. He told them what we've been telling them for eons - that if they'd give Colin more of a challenge, he'd likely fall into line. He told them we were frustrated with his behavior and with the bad reports, and mentioned that we were seriously considering homeschooling him.
He said their response was surprising. Like, "Oh no, we'd hate to see Colin leave, we love him so much, he's just a little sweetheart, he's so interesting to talk to!"
My response when he told me that was, "Huh?" I mean, if he's such a sweetheart, if they love him so dearly, then why the negative notes home every day? I just didn't get it.
And now there's something else I don't get.
Since that meeting? There have been NO NOTES. None. It's been almost a month. Colin gets a smiley face in his planner every day. He has been bringing home small prizes, like a mini-Slinky and a curly straw, for good behavior. The art teacher, the music teacher, the gym teacher, the lunchroom ladies ... they're all silent. No "Colin was doing this" or "Colin wasn't doing that" or "Please remind Colin of blah blah blah."
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
I'm not sure I get it. Nothing has changed at home as far as the way we deal with Colin. He is the same kid here that he's always been. He's bringing home the same homework and still complaining that it's too easy (and it is). Yet he's done a total 180 at school and gone from the kid they loved to gripe about d-a-i-l-y to the kid whose behavior is so good it merits a prize?
Why? What's going on?
Any theories? Because I have no idea. Were they seriously that afraid of losing him (and if so, why in the heck?) that they stopped the notes because they don't want us to pull him out of school next year? Are they keeping his bad behaviors to themselves because they thought we were complaining about the volume of notes? Did they realize that things like saying "chicken poop" aren't really that big of a deal and back off? Or has he really made this miraculous transformation? And if so, what the heck happened?!
We thought we had come up with a good solution for next year. There's a school here in our district that they're making into multi-age classrooms, where the kids advance at their own pace - which we feel would be perfect for Colin. But now that he seems to have renewed enthusiasm for his school - and they seem to have renewed enthusiasm for him - is it a good idea to transfer him?
It's all so effing confusing. I think he left his instruction manual inside my uterus when he came out.
I'm emailing his teacher today to set up a meeting. We've got to go down there and find out what in the h-e-double-hockeysticks is the deal with this abrupt (and unnerving, and weird) change. I guess I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, so to speak, but it seems fishy.